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satisficing


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A decision making procedure or cognitive heuristic that entails searching through the available options just long enough to find one that reaches a preset threshold of acceptability, first suggested by the US economist and decision theorist Herbert A(lexander) Simon (1916–2001) in his book Models of Man: Social and Rational (1957), to explain the behaviour of human decision makers with bounded rationality in circumstances in which an optimal solution cannot be determined, often because a thorough examination of all available options would be required but would be infeasible or would consume too much time and energy. Thus a newly married couple looking for a house to buy may accept the first one they find that satisfies certain minimal requirements of price, location, number of rooms, and local amenities; human chess players also usually adopt satisficing moves because it is impossible to analyse all available moves in a typical chess position; and firms often seek satisfactory rather than optimum levels of profits and growth. See also psychological decision theory. satisfice vb. satisficer n. One who satisfices. [A blend of satis(factory) and (suf)ficing, because it involves the choice of options that are satisfactory or that suffice]

Subjects: Social Sciences — Psychology.


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